Cork Olympian Phil Healy announced as Cork ARC Cancer Support House Ambassador

We are delighted to announce local woman Cork woman and Olympian Phil Healy as our new Ambassador.

A native of West Cork, hailing from Ballineen, Healy is an international sprinter, holding Irish track records and has been dubbed ‘Ireland’s Fastest Woman’. 

Announcing the partnership on Monday 28th March at Cork ARC Cancer Support House on Sarsfield Road, Wilton, Healy saw firsthand the state-of-the-art facilities and supports that are offered free of charge to over 1,500 cancer patients in Cork on an annual basis. 

Speaking during a visit to Cork ARC Cancer Support House in Cork, Phil said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at Cork ARC Cancer Support House as an Ambassador. I have always been very impressed with the work that Cork ARC does – particularly with their centre in Bantry which I know is a great source of support for people in West Cork. The services on offer, free of charge, to patients and their families are invaluable and I’m delighted to play a part in making room for Cork ARC.”

General Manager at Cork ARC Cancer Support House, Catriona O’Mahony commented: “We are delighted to be working with Phil to bring a new level of awareness to our services. Phil’s profile both locally and nationally will help us to ensure that nobody has to go through cancer alone. As a former trainee nurse Phil has a great understanding of the journey taken by oncology patients and the challenges they face. And as an athlete Phil recognises how much your psychological health impacts your physical health and vice versa. Combined, her experience gives Phil a unique perspective on our exercise programmes and how they can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, fatigue, improve your mood and physical functioning.”

During her visit, Phil heard that Cork ARC expects to see a vast increase in requests for their support over the coming years, in line with rising numbers of diagnoses and delayed diagnoses as a delayed impact of the Covid 19 crisis in our health system. In 2021 the organisation saw an increase of 1,760 services delivered to a total of 10,881, with over 250 people making contact with the charity for the first time, on top of their steady base of 1,500 regular users. 

Since the onset of Covid-19, the charity has seen a devastating impact on their fundraising activities – with almost all regular fundraising events cancelled or curtailed, meaning a significant drop in funding to provide support for patients and their families. Annually the charity receives just €45,000 through Government funding – barely 5% of the total cost of bringing these services to patients, free of charge.  

The charity also operates a support centre in Bantry. ‘The Bungalow’ was opened in April 2015 to support the people of West Cork, who often have to travel long distances for their treatment.


Pic: Brian Lougheed